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The Jerusalem Council


OC.Net Guru
Mar 4, 2006
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Bad Catholic Claims # 2 - The Council in Jerusalem

Claim: In those days Peter rose up in the midst of the disciples (Acts 15), both as being ardent, and as intrusted by Christ with the flock ...he first acts with authority in the matter, as having all put into his hands ; for to him Christ said, 'And thou, being converted, confirm thy brethren. (Chrysostom, Hom. iii Act Apost. tom. ix.)[1]

What does it actually say...?
"And in those days," it says, "Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said." (v. 15.) Both as being ardent, and as having been put in trust by Christ with the flock, and as having precedence in honor, he always begins the discourse. ("The number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty.) Men and brethren," he says, "this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spake before," [etc.] (v. 16.) Why did he not ask Christ to give him some one in the room of Judas? It is better as it is. For in the first place, they were engaged in other things; secondly, of Christ's presence with them, the greatest proof that could be given was this: as He had chosen when He was among them, so did He now being absent. Now this was no small matter for their consolation. But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing imperiously. And he does not speak thus without a meaning. But observe how he consoles them concerning what had passed. In fact, what had happened had caused them no small consternation. For if there are many now who canvass this circumstance,what may we suppose they had to say then? [2]

Eusebius wrote of this in his church history (note he also quotes Clement — a supposed Papal prince). "This James, whom the early Christians surnamed the Righteous because of his outstanding virtue, was the first, as the records tell us, to be elected to the Episcopal throne of the Jerusalem church. Clement, in Outlines Book VI, puts it thus: "Peter, James, and John, after the Ascension of the Saviour, did not claim pre-eminence because the Saviour had especially honoured them, but chose James the Righteous as Bishop of Jerusalem."[3]

"But observe how Peter does everything with the common consent; nothing
St. John Chrysotomon, Homily III on Acts 1:12[4]

[1] http://www.globalserve.net/~bumblebee/ecclesia/patriarchs.htm
[2] http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-11/npnf1-11-10.htm#P272_117779
[3] “The History of the Church” — II.I quoted in Whelton "Two Paths", pp38-9, also at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-01/Npnf2-01-07.htm#P938_461218
[4] Whelton, p33 and at http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-11/npnf1-11-10.htm#P272_117779